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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

A Chilean White Perfect with Fried Redfish

Viña Quintay Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Clava 2008

Thomas Matthews
Posted: July 30, 2009

Bud and Jim, my Southern brothers-in-law, went fishing at Botany Bay and caught two beautiful redfish, about 8 pounds each. Carrie, my sister-in-law, fried up the fillets in a beer batter and served them with homemade hush puppies, coleslaw and sliced tomatoes. All local, fresh and delicious!

We went halfway around the world for the wine, though: a 2008 Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. Alvaro Espinoza, one of Chile’s leading winemakers, is behind the Viña Quintay project, and the grapes were sourced from the cool Casablanca Valley, one of the country’s best regions for white wines.

The Sauvignon Blanc was in the New Zealand style: fresh and light, with delicate yet quite intense flavors of lemon-lime, orange blossom and vanilla. It hit the sweet spot between tangy and rich, and never overshadowed the fresh sweetness of the fish. I rated it 86 points, non-blind, and found it a good value at $11.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Viña Quintay Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Clava 2008 (85, $11).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Chilean whites, along with our quick links to Top Values and Easy Finds among Chilean whites.

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